Douglas S. Thomas, David T. Butry, Jeffrey P. Prestemon
Eighty percent of wildfires are human caused, so it is important for decision makers and land managers to consider the role of prevention activities that minimize the costs and losses of human-caused wildfires. There have been significant efforts aimed at reducing the impact wildfires have on people and their property, but the efficiency of these efforts often requires a better understanding of the human behavior contributing to the ignition process. This paper discusses three themes related to understanding and reducing the impact of human-caused wildfires: 1) the characteristics of wildfire data; 2) the effects of fire prevention activities; and 3) utilizing spatio-temporal patterns in human-caused fire ignitions to increase the effectiveness of prevention efforts. Research on these issues suggest that social collaboration, crime prevention, and education programs among other efforts may be effective tools in reducing the loss of life and property due to human-caused wildfire ignitions; however, data challenges frequently hinder a complete understanding and analysis.
August 1-2, 2013
Baton Rouge, LA
Louisiana Natural Resources Symposium
fire prevention, human-caused fires, intentional fire, wildfire, unintentional fire, wildland